Effective Ways To Hide Cables On Your Desk

Cable management is a topic that comes up more and more often as we get more tech in our desk setups. Any workspace can quickly become cluttered with unsightly cables and wires.

Managing cables is not only for improving desk aesthetics, but it prevents accidents like cable snagging very effectively.

I’ve been perfecting my cable management skills over the last few years, and this is what my desk setup looks like now. Barely any cables in sight!

flexispot E7 pro plus desk setup

In this article, I’m going to talk about how you can effectively hide wires on your desk. These will all be methods I have implemented myself and work very well. If you have a desk in the center of your room, we have a dedicated centered desk cable management guide here

Minimize Cables

The first step in hiding your cables is to actually reduce how many you have in the first place. Here are a few ways you can actually subtract the wires needed altogether.

Use Wireless Peripherals

Switching to wireless peripherals is the best way to start reducing the number of wires at your desk. The main peripherals that are guilty of introducing wires are keyboards, mice, and headphones.

Wireless keyboards and mice are available for a very low price these days. Especially from reputable brands like Logitech and Dell. 

For example, the Logitech MK270 keyboard-mouse combo is just $25 at the time of writing. That’s a decent price to instantly eliminate two annoying wires from the middle of your desk.

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If you have a bigger budget for a mouse and keyboard, you can get Logitech’s MX professional series of mice and keyboards.  Not only are these wireless, but they offer a ton of customizability which is terrific for power users.

It’s the best keyboard and mouse combo I’ve ever tried.  I have custom keys programmed with the Logitech software and it speeds up my workflow pretty dramatically.

The same story is true for headphones. You can find great wireless options for cheap, or spend some extra money for a better experience. 

Today’s Bluetooth audio technology is very good and doesn’t have the latency issues of previous generations.

For wireless headphones, I would recommend Sony or JBL. They both have great options from the low-end budget-friendly versions all the way to the industry-leading high-end options.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

 The WH1000XM5 headphones feature industry-leading noise cancellation with 8 microphones, crystal clear calling quality, superb 30-hour battery life, ultra-comfortable design, and intuitive touch controls.

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Use Docking Stations

The next method of reducing the number of cables you have visible is to use a docking station if you have a laptop-focused desk setup.

Today’s docking stations use Thunderbolt technology to extract a ton of connections via a single USB Type C port. You can have a single cable break out into display connections, USB connections, and charge your laptop at the same time!

For example, check out this Dell docking station:

Dell WD19TB Thunderbolt Docking Station

This docking station has multiple ports, including USB-C, USB-A, combo audio/headset, audio out, DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C multifunction DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet RJ45, and Thunderbolt 3. It can even support up to 130 Watts of power delivery!

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One Thunderbolt USB-C cable here leads to a dock that charges your laptop and gives you four display outputs, four USB ports, an ethernet port, and an audio/headset jack. That’s a ton of connections that can be hidden out of sight. 

With a USB-C docking station that supports power delivery, you have a single cable going into your laptop. I would also recommend checking our article on how to hide your docking station as well.

Using a hidden docking station with a single USB-C cable connection is peak laptop cable management!

Hide Your Computer Tower

If you are a desktop user, consider keeping that desktop out of sight. We dedicated a whole article on how to hide your computer tower. If you’re a laptop user, we have a dedicated article on hiding laptops too.

By hiding your computer you naturally hide a ton of wires that go to and from your computer. You can mount your PC under your desk, in a PC cabinet, etc. We have more ideas in the article linked above.

Wherever you end up putting your desktop, just make sure you leave some ventilation, port access, and maintenance access. 

Encourage Hidden Cables

I specifically organize items on my desk so that it naturally results in fewer cables being visible. Here are some ways you can do the same.

Move Items Toward Table Edges

The closer any wired devices are to your table’s edge, the less those wires will be visible. Move any wired devices you have closer to the edge of your table. 

Those wires will only be seen for a brief segment before getting lost behind your table’s edge. It’s a simple touch that makes a huge difference. 

For example, if you have a set of speakers, you might like when they are placed closer to you. But that could result in a long segment of cable ruining your aesthetics. That will expose their connections more than necessary. 

black audioengine a2+ speakers mounted horizontally on silicone 15 degree angle speaker stand

My speakers pushed right up against the edge of my desk. I pretty much see zero speaker cables from my typical perspective. 

Give One Exit To Groups of Cables

If you have a bunch of cables going to and from one location, let them travel together. I see a ton of desk setups where there are 15 cables going from one place to another, and they are all separate for some reason.  

Do yourself a huge favor and group any and all cables going to and from the same location. Even if they don’t go to the exact same location, if they travel together for a short length, group them.

Here is an image of one of my previous desk setups when I was using a single 4K monitor instead of an ultrawide monitor. You can tell I like hiding wires.

I have five different cables going to my monitor in this image. They are all hidden right behind my monitor mount arm. The different connections include: 

Some of these cables are pretty beefy too. You can’t see any because they are all grouped and hidden behind the monitor arm vertical post.

When the bundle reaches the underside of my desk, they all split and go to their appropriate locations. 

The HDMI cable goes to my laptop, DisplayPort to my desktop, AUX cable to my speakers, power cable to the wall outlet, and light bar to a 5V USB power hub. 

I have a dedicated article on hiding monitor cables so you too can get this super clean look. If you don’t want to read the entire article, I put together a quick reference infographic below.


Manage Excess Cables

So far we have minimized the number of cables on our desk and also minimized what cables are visible at all. Now we are going to go to the next and final level of cable concealing.

Use Cable Wraps

Remember how we grouped cables that have the same path? One tool that helps me group cables very effectively is split cable sleeving. I use the sleeving linked below, it’s super cheap and super functional.

Split Cable Management Sleeving

This black wire loom is split and easy to load wires. They come in a large range of diameters and lengths depending on how many cables you need to manage. It groups your individual cables and wraps them in this aesthetically pleasing mesh wrap.

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Cable wraps are basically rolled sheathing that has a split along the center. That way you can insert a group of cables inside, and then the sheathing rolls up again and gives your group of ugly multicolored cables a consistent and clean look.

Here’s what the split sheathing looks like on all the cables behind my current ultrawide monitor. I get a single black bunch of cables instead of the random colored cables going in different directions.

govee lights and cable management behind dell 34 ultrawide monitor

Follow The Lines of Your Desk Setup

One major cable management technique that hides wires on your desk super well is to route your cables along the lines of your desk setup.

Basically, hide your cables behind items that are already on your desk whenever possible. There is no easier way to hide cables on your desk in plain sight.

Take the image of the monitor below for example. We have a power cable, an HDMI cable, and a monitor light bar power cable coming out from under the monitor.

hp 22cwa monitor with only three inputs.

Instead of letting these wires go wherever they want, I secured them to the monitor stand itself.

While this won’t make them invisible, it’s a very low-effort option that merges them with the stand of the monitor. The cables are now a lot less apparent when you are sitting at the desk.

Laptop with small desk shelf behind it supporting monitor

Use Cable Trays and Raceways

This article is focused on hiding wires on top of your desk. However, you can also manage the cables under your desk so it can look clean from all angles. We have a dedicated article on hiding cables under your desk here.

The easiest way to do this is to use an under-table cable management rack, tray, or cable raceway.  

Baskiss Under Desk Cable Management Tray

This Cable Management Tray is a sturdy and durable solution for organizing unsightly data cables, power cords, outlet strips, and power supplies. Its open-wire design allows you to thread cables through the panels of the tray and even weave excess cords between the wires. The tray clamps directly to your desk's top surface or frame without any drilling

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These trays can hold power strips, and serve as a location to bundle up excess cable lengths. That way you don’t see a huge mess when you look under your desk. 

If you own a power strip, you can attach most power strips to your desk very easily. Mounting a power strip cuts down visible cables because your plugs don’t need to travel all the way down to the floor.

Before You Go

If you want more next-level cable management ideas, check out our article on cable management for glass desks. Glass tables basically require cable management on hard mode.

We also have a dedicated article on cable management for standing desks, if you own one of those. 

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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